It is flower season in The Netherlands now and we are eager to get some good pictures. Last year we heard about a Japanese garden in Amsterdam, that has a lot of cherry blossom trees blooming in the beginning of April, so we decided to check it out and see what we would find. We were pleasantly surprised, however it was a challenge to get a photo without people in the picture because it is a very popular place at this time of year.
In year 2000, the Japan Women’s Club (JWC) donated 400 cherry trees to Amstelveen and Amsterdamse Bos. Every tree has a name: 200 trees have a Japanese female name, 200 trees have a Dutch female name. This place breathes a special atmosphere for sure.Amstelveen is actually home to the largest Japanese community in the Netherlands and the second largest in Europe.
Flowers and nature in general have a symbolic meaning in Japan. The cherry blossom ‘Sakura’ represents a new beginning, but at the same time refers to the transience of life.
The scenery that this place produces is perfect to get some excellent photo ops, We strongly recommend to visit this location if you are in the area of Amsterdam in April and want some different photos. If there is hardly any wind after the blossoming, the trees can be in bloom for several weeks, but with a lot of wind and rain, the blossom period does not last long.
Quick tips when it comes to photographing flowers:
- Choose a nice looking flower or bulb, get close and make sure you have the focus on the right place, try to set you focus point in the center so you can adjust it manually if needed. Many branches and pebbles can steal your focus when the camera automatically chooses it for you.
- To get all the details, try to get some natural light on the surface you photograph. If it is on the middle of the day and the sun is somehow right above you, you can get some really nice photos from straight above the flower. Be aware of your shadow and try to keep the sun in front of you.
- For wider photos try to find a nice pattern, maybe look for symmetry or a good foreground/background. If you have a lot of flowers in one place you can get down to a level and adjust the angle. You can also try to use the flowers behind your subject as a colorful blurred background.